On this day in sport, one of Lithuania’s most decorated athletes stamped his authority in the basketball world.
Modestas Paulauskas (Elijaus Kniežausko nuotr.)

The year time was October 1967 and, that’s right, you guessed it, Modestas Paulauskas would cross over the Baltic Sea to Finland in search of a second straight EuroBasket title.

A recipient of two “Lithuanian Athlete of the year” titles by the age of 22, the Lithuanian also entered this tournament as the reigning EuroBasket MVP winner after his efforts in 1965.

Joined in 1967 by Estonian pair Priit Tomson and Jaak Lipso the trio would again guide the USSR to a seven game streak in the group stage with wins over Israel, East Germany, Hungary, France, Greece, Bulgaria and Italy.

Surprisingly, one of the Soviet’s biggest victories at the tournament came in the semi-final as Poland proved to be no match 108:68 (they would bounce back in the Bronze medal match).

Thankfully, the public gathered at the then newly constructed Helsinki Ice Hall was granted a far more climatic affair as Paulauskas’ men held off Czechoslovakia 89:77.

Shortly after collecting his second Gold medal the Lithuanian was selected in his second EuroBasket All-tournament team alongside Russian Sergei Belov and Finnish Veikko Vainio.

Jiří Zedníček claimed the MVP title for the tournament and was also granted entry into the prestigious all star team alongside his Czech teammate Jiří Zídek.

Zídek’s son, of the same name, would go onto claim a Euro League title for Žalgiris Kaunas 31 years later in 1998.

Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

Greg Monroe on the brawl with Jonas Valančiūnas: I would much rather play with a tough guy like Jonas than some timid player

The Toronto Raptors are getting ready for the upcoming basketball season this year by putting together...

Seibutis has been dragged into the NBA trade merry-go-round for a second time; the rights to the Lithuanian now belong to the Cleveland “Cavaliers”

The name of 33-year old Lithuanian guard, Renaldas Seibutis has been brought in for a second time in...

BC Rytas reveals new logo, featuring Vilnius symbols

The Vilnius-based BC Rytas , which changed its name earlier this summer, on Monday revealed a new...

An in-depth analysis of Lithuania’s national basketball team after the third window games! (2)

About 6 minutes into Lithuania’s first game versus Poland on June 28th, I was thinking to myself...

Šaras says he’s staying because he is at home here in LT

Šarūnas Jasikevičius is staying in Kaunas for at least another year. This is perhaps the most...